If the results from Tuesday’s elections in Israel tell us anything, they tell us that two prominent world leaders in the Middle East will be in power for the foreseeable future. After being elected to his 5th term on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now the longest-serving leader in modern Israel’s history, surpassing the late great David Ben-Gurion.
Although Netanyahu presently has corruption charges lingering over his head, he and his right-wing Likud Party are poised to lead Israel for at least the next four years. The geopolitical dynamics of the Middle East and even the world at large are determined by what happens in Israel. As Israel goes, so goes the world. The next four years will be both intriguing and revealing to say the least.
All eyes will remain on Israel primarily because of one profound truth — the Creator of the Universe has placed a unique claim on the land and people of Israel. All eyes are on Israel because God’s eyes are on Israel.
“And the LORD said to Soloman, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.“
[1 Kings 9:3]
The Timely Rise of Turkey
Due north of Israel there is another political leader in Turkey who firmly has solidified himself as the head of state in one of the most strategic Muslim nations in the World. Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan first became Prime Minister 16 years ago, and his most recent election as president in 2018 has given him a five-year term and sweeping new powers that many believe will lead to a Turkish dictatorship.
“Since 2002, Erdogan has consolidated his hold on domestic politics while using military and diplomatic means to solidify Turkey as a regional power. His crackdown has been brutal and consistent – scores of journalists arrested, academics officially banned from leaving the country, university deans fired and many of the highest-ranking military officers arrested.”Soner Cagaptay –director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute (2018)
Just over a decade ago, Turkey was considered a moderate Islamic nation embracing western values, a NATO member, and an ally to the U.S. and Israel. Today, Turkey may be the biggest potential threat looming over Israel and the entire Middle East. Erdogan unapologetically has declared his ambitions for Turkish national supremacy and has expressed a clear desire to lead a revived Islamic Caliphate through a Neo-Ottoman empire.
Erdogan, like many Muslim leaders, showed public disdain for President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Addressing a summit of Muslim leaders in Istanbul, Erdogan said that Jerusalem was “our red line,” according to a CNBC article from December of 2017.
“Israel is an occupying and terror state,” Erdogan said as he called on all countries to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.”https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/13/turkey-calls-israel-a-terror-state-says-jerusalem-our-red-line.html
Add this dangerous rhetoric with geopolitical tensions between Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, and it would not be surprising to see conflict arise in the Islamic world. And according to the testimony of the Biblical prophets, we should expect to see growing turmoil among the Muslim majority nations in the Middle East. In Daniel 8 the prophet describes future conflict between “Javan,” which refers to modern day Turkey, and Persia (Iran). Combining the civil war in Syria with historical Sunni and Shiite tensions, regional war could erupt at any moment.
Turkey not only possesses nuclear capabilities but also boasts the 9th overall most powerful military in the world, which is now being commanded by a virtual dictator with Neo-Ottoman aspirations.
“The Turkish Armed Forces collectively rank as the second largest standing military force in NATO, after the U.S. Armed Forces, with an estimated strength in 2015 of 639,551 military, civilian and paramilitary personnel.”“News From Turkish Armed Forces”. Turkish Armed Forces. tsk.tr. Archived from the original on 5 November 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
The Apple of God’s Eye
What the LORD has decreed, He will do. The end which has been declared from the beginning will be accomplished. As the LORD continues to sovereignly work all of these things according to His good will and purposes, we must remember that Jesus is coming to avenge His people Israel and reclaim Zion for Himself. I will leave you with the timely words of the prophet Zechariah.
“For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: 9“Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me. 10Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD. 11And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 12And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”13Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”